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Switzerland, Slovakia qualify for World Cup

AP | STUART CONDIE | Posted 05.25.2011 | Home

— Switzerland and Slovakia earned Europe's final two automatic berths for next year's World Cup on Wednesday night, while Argentina tried to beat out Uruguay and Ecuador for South America's last certain spot in the 32-nation field.

Costa Rica played at the United States, which clinched its sixth straight berth last weekend, and the Ticos hoped to stay ahead of Honduras and gain the final automatic place from North and Central America and the Caribbean.

Portugal, Greece, Slovenia and Ukraine finished second in their groups and joined Bosnia-Herzegovina, France, Ireland and Russia in the European playoffs. They will be drawn into four pairs on Monday, and the winners of home-and-home, total-goals matches on Nov. 14 and 18 will qualify for next year's 32-nation field.

By the end of Wednesday, 23 of the 32 nations will have been determined for next year's tournament in South Africa.

In addition to the U.S., Mexico had ensured a berth in CONCACAF, while Denmark, England, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Serbia and Spain had clinched automatic berths in Europe. Brazil, Chile and Paraguay had earned berths from South America, and Australia, Japan, North Korea and South Korea won Asia's spots. Ghana and Ivory Coast joined host South Africa, which qualified automatically as host.